Resource Rights Agitations and the ‘New Forms of Conflict' in the Niger-Delta, 1999 – 2008.
From 1999 to date, there would seem to be policy paralysis on the part of government in the context of formulating and implementing policy options that could stem the tide of continuous revolt in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria. The revolt is the contemporary manifestation of the resource rights agitations that have pitched the oil rich minority groups in the Niger Delta against the Nigerian state. The Nigerian state is obsessed with the search for peace but fails to address the issues of justice that are central to the raging conflict. The adoption of militarized mediation as a conflict resolution strategy has indeed aggravated tensions, which in turn have led to the transformation and intensification of conflict strategies adopted by the people in the region. The transition from non-violence to violence in the post-Ken Saro Wiwa era is now evident in the re-introduction of old forms of conflict such as kidnapping and oil-flow obstruction, although the brazen nature of these acts seem to convey the impression that these forms of conflict are new. The article establishes the link between these conflicts and the on-going resource agitations in the region. It also explores possible remedies that could stem the tide of violence in the region.
Lagos Historical Review Vol. 8 2008: pp. 91-112